Phosphor Bronze

An alloy of copper with 3.5 to 10% of tin and a significant phosphorus content of up to 1%.

  • PB1 is a continuously cast product used for machined components washers and bushes.
  • PB2 This has a higher tin content than PB1 this addition aids wear resistance and is used in gear applications.
  • PB102 is a wrought phosphor bronze with a high hardness mainly id bar and rod form used in the manufacture of machined parts and electrical components.
  • SAE660 – this is a leaded gunmetal used for a bearing material, good strength and , machinability and abrasion resistance.

Machining

You can get in a lot of trouble when drilling this in the lathe as it does have a tendency to bind and lock.

I find the best way is to use lots of cutting fluid to remove the heat and to lubricate the cutter, especially important when drilling phosphor bronze.

Uses

Phosphor bronze has many uses where resistance to fatigue, wear and chemical corrosion are required.

  • bearings
  • pistons – in steam engines

The main bearings, the big-end and the camshaft bearings are all phosphor bronze in my Transitional Engine.

In addition the sliders are made from phosphor bronze.

About Nigel 192 Articles
Have been making models since I was around 7 years old and using a lathe from the age of 11, a self taught engineer with a passion for making model engines.

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